How to Improve Dinking in Pickleball 2023

How to Improve Dinking in Pickleball

Here is some insight on how to improve dinking in pickleball games along with some useful tips and techniques.

Irrespective of the skill set, they are a huge part of pickleball games, whether you like playing a dink or not. It is not just about hitting the ball the right way but much more goes into it. Hence, for anyone who is planning to practice one, everything from planning to keeping the right posture and understanding the opponent’s style is absolutely important.

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Complete Guide for Mastering the Dink Shot in Pickleball

Wondering how you become a pro at dinking shots? How important is dinking in pickleball? What are the essential tips for anyone who wants to learn attacks through dinking? Well, to save your day, I am here with this detailed guide on how to improve dinking in pickleball. So, dive right in for more.

What is a Dink Shot?

There is absolutely no doubt that dinks are the best friends of experienced pickleball players. In simple words, a dink shot is an aggressive shot near the non-volley zone of the net and lands in the kitchen of the other side. Typically, it is between the net and non-volley zone and is designed to keep the rival in a difficult position.

Players also use this trick to extend the game and get the right moment to attack. The whole point of this shot is to get the other party to mess up. However, anyone with a strong baseline presence can help players turn the game in their favor.

how to improve dinking in pickleball

Keep Your Posture Firm

The first thing you need to master the art of dinking is the right posture. Here, you need to keep the entire body aligned in one line, parallel to the net. Keep the knees apart and shoulder wide to make sure you are stable and in a firm position. This allows you to cover the front and back area. Moreover, having your paddle at 45 degrees can give you additional grip and control. While hitting the ball, be low and softly touch the net in a way that it doesn’t feel.

Focus on the Ball

Although it is quite obvious to keep all your focus on the ball, most players ignore it. When it comes to dinking, it automatically becomes significantly important to land each other correctly. With that said, some people only understand it but don’t implement it. For this, practice matters the most. Make sure to do training sessions where you solely have to focus on the ball. This will help you not only perfect dink shots but also the entire game.

Take the Ball Out of the Air

In simple terms, it means hitting the ball before it bounces in your kitchen area. It is absolutely necessary because when you are in a dinking pose, there is little to no area between the non-volley space and the net. This can immediately change the pace of the game. So, if you want to delay the game yet need to keep the hits fast so your opponent doesn’t have the time to respond, this is the best strategy. It also helps you remove any variables that are created by the bounces.

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how to improve dinking in pickleball

Hit on the Short Hop

Quite the opposite of the previous strategy, you have to wait for the bounce here. In this shot, you have to wait intentionally for the ball to bounce and rise back in the air. Hence, here is why players prefer using this technique to dink;

  • It offers them better control over the ball. So, as the ball spins and comes back to its position, they have time to plan and strategize the next move.
  • This gives you an edge, even when the opponent is hitting the ball at high speed. With this technique, you can easily shoot the ball over the net.
  • It keeps your posture low and knees apart, which is considered an ideal position for dink shots.

Wait for the Right Moment to Strike

It is pretty common for players to feel the pressure of hitting and dinking and getting it right each time. However, patience is a key element you all need to master. It is not just about hitting the ball but planning each move strategically. I usually like to go for consecutive four to five dinks as they can make you appear aggressive on the field. All in all, keep yourself calm and don’t let nerves take you under pressure.

Always Keep the Dink Shots in Kitchen

While you are in the right low and right position, make sure to keep all the hits in the kitchen area. This will prevent the opponent from getting any benefit from keeping the ball in the air. Also, make sure to make minimal contact with the volley area. This will give you all the dinks back, and the game can take a wrong turn easily.

Teamwork is the Right Way

When it comes to dinking shots, teamwork is the key. Playing in partnership is the rule for pickleball fields. Similarly, communicating and collaborating with the other member can assist you in landing each shot correctly. Here are some things you need to consider.

  • Always Stay in Tanem Area: By this, I mean you both are in the kitchen area and always ready to give the opponent a dink. Make sure to keep a distance between six and eight feet between yourself and your partner. Also, stay in touch with the kitchen to prevent the bounce and, eventually, any variable to interfere with the game.
  • Communication: It is equally important to make sure that both of you are on the same page. Prevent crashing yourself or smashing paddles. For this, you need to have at least a six feet distance. We used to call “its mine” for each shot. This improves the game and builds a relationship with other players on the field.

Where to Place Your Dink Shot?

Another thing most players are confused about is where to dink. Well, there are many possible options based on the speed, angle, and placement of the shots from the opponent’s side. I would advise you to be unpredictable, as the entire point of the dink is to surprise your enemy and catch him off-guard. Here are some common places that can guarantee a successful dink shot;

  • Crosscourt Dinks: These are the most commonly used because of their straightforwardness. These shots are placed in the middle of the court, which gives you extra margin across the net. Also, you are hitting the angle naturally, so there are minimal chances of feeling fatigued or tired out. I found this placement quite forgiving and natural.
  • Place them Down the Line: Now, you cannot always use a crosscourt dink as it can make you appear predictable. I really like Down the Line Dinks, as these are effortless and don’t get players under pressure. Unlike other dinking strategies, you have to be gentle in this one. Yet, I would suggest you understand the opponent’s skill level, as they might not work for every player.

Commonly Asked Questions

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Final Thoughts

In the end, dink shots are extremely important in pickleball, irrespective of skill set and expertise. Learning a dink shot is a must if you want to get an edge over the opponent and desire to get him off-guard. These can help you extend the match and turn it in your favor in a way that guarantees you a victory.

Finally, I hope these tips and tricks can help you in improving the dink shots against fierce enemies on the field.

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